Eric Daniel Johnson
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationHarvard U.
Grant numberGr. 9820
Approve DateApril 29, 2019
Project TitleJohnson, Eric (Harvard U.) "Indigeneity and Industrialization: Assessing Style, Production, and Consumption of Shell Beads between New Jersey and the Plains, 1750-1900 CE"
ERIC JOHNSON, then a graduate student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a grant in April 2019 to aid research on “Indigeneity and Industrialization: Assessing Style, Production, and Consumption of Shell Beads between New Jersey and the Plains, 1750-1900 CE,” supervised by Dr. Matthew Liebmann. How do changes in consumption on a colonial frontier structure changes in production in an industrial context? To answer this question, this project analyzed production debris from settler-owned shell bead production sites (or wampum workshops) in northern New Jersey, USA from 1770-1900 CE. By the mid-18th century, Euro-American colonists had appropriated the production of wampum and other Indigenous shell beads for export as trade goods and treaty technologies. Bead manufacturers and distributors in northern New Jersey exported shell beads for Native American consumers as far west as the northern and southern Plains. Archaeological surveys in Bergen County, NJ were successful in locating a previously undiscovered wampum workshop – the David Campbell House. Combining analysis of previously excavated museum collections with new David Campbell House collections, this project reconstructed sequences of production, efficiencies and waste, variation in bead styles, and degrees of standardization and compared these variables to Indigenous bead use in the context of settler colonialism. The framework of “settler capitalism” was developed to help bridge material culture of capitalist industrialization in New Jersey (production) and Indigenous responses to settler colonial expansion on the frontier (consumption).
Johnson, Eric D. 2021. “An Archaeology of Settler Capitalism: Industrialization, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Shell Beads between New Jersey and the Plains, 1750-1900 CE.” PhD, Anthropology Department, Harvard University. Johnson, Eric D. 2022. “Industrializing Shell Bead Production in Northern New Jersey: Reuniting Collections from Stoltz Farm (1770-1830) and the Campbell Wampum Factory (1850-1900).” Historical Archaeology 56 (3).